Friday, February 17, 2017

Building a List #2 - Dewback Brigade

So this Saturday is the first Imperial Assault tournament in my city in several months, so I'm quite excited as several old players are returning from the woodworks. It'll probably be quite small, five or six at the most, but it's a good first step at bringing the game back. In celebration of this event, I'm going to be making a new list and writing an article about it. This time, the Dewback Brigade.

This is a list I've been wanting to run ever since we got our eyes on the Dewback, having one unique and a generic elite. I can run three dewbacks? I'm running three dewbacks. This is going to be the centerpoint of the list.

The List

Only 17 points for three dewbacks, with 31 health and a ton of damage and utility. I expect this list to force my opponents to use more weaken tokens than ever before.

So, got the dewbacks. What to do to flesh out the list. With this many single model activations, we're going to need some bodies. Well, the Empire is pretty good at that. I don't really need speed or higher damage, so I'll just go with the tried and true, eStormtroopers. Two of them, because they're amazing. (It is worth noting that I haven't played with them since the recent rule change, so I don't entirely know how they'll do, but I'm willing to wager they're still one of the most potent units in the game.)

So, that puts us at 35 points. Each faction has a couple of point levels that I hate having leftover in a list. For Imperials, 5 points is one of those. It's not enough for Blaise or rStormtroopers, which I'd like to take, and the 5 point options are fairly meh. I could take an eProbe, which is good but has no synergy, rISB, pretty meh, or an eOfficer, which I don't really have a need for. I think the list will work better if I just take two rOfficers and a 1 point upgrade.

So, 1 point left. My only real choices I'd want to take are Zillo Technique and Rule by Fear. And I'm not exactly starving for command cards, so I'll take Zillo. People regard Zillo very highly, and I do understand the sentiment, but I'm not convinced that Zillo is worth forcing the rest of the list around to make it fit. Thus, it falls into the last step of list building. (Just in case anyone was wondering.)

The Command Deck
So, Troopers have some very good command cards, but I imagine Reinforcements isn't quite as powerful as it once was. But, without any playtesting, I'm just going to make a Trooper deck pretty much the same way I always have. We'll see how it goes.

The Never-Leave-Home-Without-Them Cards

These are the cards I consider to be essential to every command card deck and every deck should take them.

Super Trooper Cards

Grenadier and Reinforcements have long been the basics of a good Trooper command deck. (Reinforcements may be on the way out, though. Not sure yet.) Call the Vanguard is the new one, but it's going to be so much fun to drop. Both Dewbacks and Terro are Troopers. With initiative, Terro can move 5, attack, move 3, flamethrower, and attack. Or swap the flamethrower for another 5 movement. That's Bantha levels of shenanigans right there.

General Utility

This is where the bulk of the cards lie, and all of them are going to be just generally useful over the course of the game. Celebration was once a questionable choice, but with the new point rules and the flexibility of Zillo, it's a safe choice to bring. Strength in numbers I rarely find myself running, but with Terro+Dewback coming in at 12 points, I had to include it. Dewback stampede seems fun. Disorient is a potentially powerful card, with any downside removed by Zillo. (This is the real reason I like Zillo so much. I can take powerful hit-or-miss command cards without a care.) Comm Disruption should be looked at as a second Negation with a 1 point tax. Worth every point to be twice as safe against a game-changing Take the Initiative. Positioning Advantage is just extra damage (or an extra block, depending on the situation). Mitigate controls the dice, which is extremely valuable. And Urgency has saved me more than once, putting an extra-speedy Stormtrooper right into Line of Sight to a wounded enemy, or snagging an objective.

Thoughts on the List

This seems like a very solid list. There's a lot of health, a lot of bodies, and a lot of firepower. Even more, there's a lot of synergy. One fear I had making the list was that Jedi Luke was going to be impossible to kill with his innate defense neutering the eStormtroopers. But then I remembered I can just hit him with a lightning stick to make everything better. Or toast him, it doesn't really matter. The Dewbacks being Troopers might be important given the Squad Training. The two rOfficers will be good terminal standers and an effective activation pass, should I need it. Basically, I see a good, strong Trooper list with Dewbacks as your heavy hitters over Heavy Stormtroopers or Jet Troopers.

But at the end of the day, I'm just extremely excited to have Imperial Assault played locally. It remains solidly my favorite game of all time, even for its flaws. (Huh. I do have some white dice in my list. How unusual.)

So, how do you like this list? Would you have changed anything? How do you like your dewbacks?

In particular, I'd like to hear how you've been feeling with Troopers given the recent rule change. Do you still take double eStormtroopers+double Reinforcements? Do you play them differently? Is Covering Fire still terrible? (Ooh, Cavalry Charge + Covering Fire. Worth trying someday.)


  1. Great Stuff mate, love to hear someone else's thoughts and I've not really considered dewbacks much. I wonder how their great stats on paper will translate onto the table or if they'll end up running into each other. Id also consider running double E-Jets with targeting computer if you end up finding the troopers are shedding point, they are great

  2. In this list comm disruption works on 0 point cards as you have no spies. Is there a better two point card you could run?

    1. There are several that could work. Some of the beast cards are useful, Cavalry Charge for Terro seems neat. But in the end I decided that I'd rather have a second Negation than anything else. That's, of course, a very subjective decision and there's not a right or wrong answer.

      But, let me ask you this. If you could double your chance to block Take the Initiative, what would you pay? For me, a single two point card is easily worth the trade.

  3. I suppose the 2/15 chance to negate take initiative is nice. I'm not a fan of capt. Terro's card because he quickly outpaces most troopers. This could change when I have jet troopers or more dewbacks. Given the lists I'm designing it may not be as subjective as you think. It is optimum to prevent take initiative when you can remove a mini from the board before it activates or when you can double activate your units. Granted call the vanguard also can act as a counter to the effect take initiative in trooper lists.